An A-Z Guide To The Search For Plato's Atlantis

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Hapgood, Charles Hutchins

Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1904-1982) was born in New York. He graduated from Harvard and became Professor of the History of Science at Keene State College of the University of New Hampshire.

hapgoodHe has written a number of books of which his work on medieval maps[369] is probably the best known. Hapgood had built on the valuable collection of ancient maps assembled by the Swedish scholar A.E. Nordenskiöld[370]. Hapgood’s book was the result of years of research in collaboration with his students that determined that the maps had been compiled from much earlier sources that included details of an ice-free coast of Antarctica. His conclusion, as the sub-title of his book states, was that these maps were evidence for the existence of an advanced Ice Age civilisation and have been seen as further support for the early date for Atlantis given to Solon. A review(a) of The Maps of the Ancient Sea-Kings on the Internet is worth a read.

According to Rand Flem-Ath and Colin Wilson[063.27], around 1958, Hapgood identified a location 1000 miles off the mouth of the Orinoco River, in South America, known as the Rocks of St. Peter & St. Paul as the site of Atlantis. These islets lie above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and according to Hapgood are the remnants of a large island, now submerged. He attempted to persuade President Kennedy to assist with a US Navy exploration of the area around the Rocks of St. Peter and Paul, but the assassination of Kennedy put paid to any possibility of any help from the White House.

Hapgood’s second controversial offering was his belief that the earth’s crust had shifted[368], although over time he appears to have revised his view regarding the precise mechanism that caused this movement. Recently, Kyle Bennett has claimed that the idea of crustal displacement was proposed as early as 1866 by Sir John Evans. Bennett has reprinted Evans’ paper in support of his accusation of plagiarism(b).*Hapgood has noted[1494.71] that in the 1950’s Karl A. Pauly[1496] and George W. Bain[1498] also supported a form of crustal shift, the former, building on the work of A.S. Eddington[1497], some decades earlier.*

Hapgood also involved himself in the controversy surrounding the figurines discovered in Acámbaro, Mexico, which creationists offer as evidence that man lived at the time of the dinosaurs. The 32,000 figurines have been denounced as a hoax(e). Hapgood’s stance supporting their authenticity does little, in my opinion, to enhance the value of his judgement.

Hapgood was also actively interested in parapsychology and spirit communication(f) and wrote three books on the subject.

In 1953 Albert Einstein wrote to Hapgood offering support for his theory and subsequently expressed similar views in a foreword for Hapgood’s book.

Some of Hapgood’s ideas have been supported in a well-illustrated book[065] by the late Robert Argod, who uses both the Piri Reis and the Oronteus Finaeus maps to support his idea that the Polynesians originated in Antarctica and that their influence can be found elsewhere in the world.

Hapgood corresponded with Rand Flem-Ath who subsequently published[062] his own theory that Atlantis had existed in the Antarctic. Argod’s book combined with the work of the Flem-Aths does offer a credible case for considering the possibility of an Atlantis-Antarctic connection. This idea was bolstered further when Graham Hancock gave the Antarctica theory additional exposure in one of his popular books, Fingerprints of the Gods[275] 

An independent critical overview of both Hapgood’s theory and Hancock’s related comments by Steve Krause can be read online(d).

Hapgood died in a tragic motor accident, which led at least one writer, Kyle Bennett, to suggest that it was murder,. in an article now removed from his website.

In 1998, J.Bowles published his The Gods, Gemini and the Great Pyramid[834]  which he wrote with the encouragement of Beth Hapgood, a cousin of Charles. His intention was to expand on the work of Hapgood relating to the shifting poles. He refers to Antarctica as alternating between being Atlantis in the Atlantic and Moo in the Pacific. A fanciful idea, as both were reportedly submerged and at least one is totally imaginary.

(a) (Offline June 2016) See Archive {3085}